Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Istanbul Park, 2020

Racing Point believe front wing damage caused Stroll’s tyre trouble

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Racing Point have discovered damage to Lance Stroll’s front wing which they believe caused the severe graining on his second set of tyres which cost him the lead of the Turkish Grand Prix.

Stroll, who led 32 laps of the race, lost pace in the second half of the race as his intermediate tyres began to grain. He was caught by team mate Sergio Perez, and Racing Point made the decision to bring him in for a fresh set of tyres.

This did not seem to cure Stroll’s problem: His lap times were initially slower on his second set of intermediates, and he fell to ninth place at the finish.

Racing Point discovered Stroll’s front wing was damaged when they inspected his car after the race.

“It was discovered during the team’s routine after-race car set-down that damage to the underside of Lance’s front wing was a significant contributor to the severe graining issues that Lance experienced during his second and third stints on the intermediate tyres at the Turkish Grand Prix,” said the team in a statement.

“Lance reported poor tyre performance, significant understeer, and graining from lap 17 onwards in the race. Pitting for a fresh set of intermediates on lap 36 failed to resolve the problem with the graining becoming even more severe.

“One of the strakes on the underside of the front wing came loose and lodged itself in such a way that the blockage caused a significant loss of front downforce. The resultant loss of front downforce contributed to increased levels of graining.”

The team said they detected a loss of downforce on Stroll’s car during the race.

“Data during the race confirmed there was a significant loss of front downforce, but with no visible damage to the top side of the front wing, combined with the low-grip conditions, it was difficult to confirm whether the data was correct.

“It was only after the race, when the car returned to the garage, that the damage and blockage to the underside of the front wing was discovered.”

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22 comments on “Racing Point believe front wing damage caused Stroll’s tyre trouble”

  1. Interesting. That would clearly explain where Strolls pace went in the second halve of the race!

    Good to know. Sorry Lance, I thought you just weren’t able to manage the tyres. But it now seems he had a car issue contributing to that.

    1. yep @bascb – guess it at least gives team and driver some answers about where the pace went. Not sure it is more or less frustrating, but at least it is a bit of understanding.

  2. A driver error then given that he was not involved in any tangle in the first part.

    1. Or a badly copied mercedes piece..
      That is what often happens with cheap copies

      1. Photocopy with barely enough toner makes for a lighter output

    2. Not necessarily. There were dozens of spining cars that left debris on the track.

    3. If he wasn’t involved in any tangles or spins, it can’t be driver error then. Likely debris.

      1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
        16th November 2020, 16:05

        Or took too much curbing somewhere? I’m not entirely sold on that being the main reason behind the lack of pace.

    4. Yeah I wouldn’t believe anything racing point say about Stroll. Even after they screwed up perez pitstop and he still destroyed stroll

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        16th November 2020, 20:59

        Stroll was far quicker than Perez basically until this problem became noticeable which was around lap 17 as mentioned. Only then onwards did the gap start to close, so it is likely to be at least partially true.

  3. It was a great story in the making and I was beginning to see what few ever thought would happen. Him leading for the first time and he really showed us how he was capable in extreme conditions.
    Then it all turned when the shot that was heard around the world was spoken with such clarity “Why, why, why” ???
    The dream was over.
    Bottom line was I found myself thinking nobody is catching him and this is good and how much I’m enjoying seeing this young fellow do well to erase his floundering image of a kid with the rich dad. He showed us he is right and has potential. Something I would not have said so far. Thanks Lance I’m finally a fan

  4. They saw a loss of downforce in the data. When did that start? Does it actually explain the loss in pace or the issues with tyre management? How did he damage that front wing?

    It just sounds like they want to give Stroll a bit of a confidence boost.

    1. Plus Stroll’s laptimes later in the race actually look quite good.

    2. Agreed and it’s not the first time either that RP have came out next day to defend his performance when things like this would normally come out ahead of the next race. They obviously don’t want him to lose face esp after such a high on Saturday where he got one over on Max.

  5. Verstappens car had also a front wing error that caused an aero unbalance which hampered his race.

    So that might explain some of his escapades.

    1. And according to the team radio damage to the floor.
      But none of those problems is used as an excuse.

    2. Still Max didn’t find that he did a good job as he was angry withhimself.

      1. didNOT bloddy edit funktion

  6. Not sure I believe this story, can’t they tell from the data he’d lost downforce, even if they couldn’t see damage, the data would have suggested they change the wing at the second stop.
    Still he performed brilliantly while he was in the lead, and splitting the strategy when they were 1 and 2 was the right thing to do.

    1. @christianedward From the article (which itself quotes from Racing Point’s tweeting):

      Data during the race confirmed there was a significant loss of front downforce, but with no visible damage to the top side of the front wing, combined with the low-grip conditions, it was difficult to confirm whether the data was correct

      Computers sometimes give out nonsense (Garbage In, Garbage Out is a famous computing maxim, but processing problems also cause wrong results. If I recall, Racing Point is only a year on from a massive software overhaul, which sounds like it should be enough time to adjust until you understand the last time its software changed was 2008/9…). Given Racing Point couldn’t see the damage, it wouldn’t have known what needed replacing (or even if it could be) unless it had total confidence in the exact data pattern seen (which will have had to have been rather more detailed than “downforce lost at the front of the car” to establish). Having no visible sign on the upper surface of the damage beneath is pretty bad luck.

  7. Jose Lopes da Silva
    17th November 2020, 5:00

    I’ll have the official explanation and believe the Gods of Racing did not want to reward having Nick Cassidy and Max Gunther to work as employees, plus more than 100 million dollars spent, etc., with a Grand Prix win.

    Anyway, it took decades for Ferrari to reveal they had voluntarily withdrawn Mansell from the San Marino GP 1989 on safety concerns.

  8. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    17th November 2020, 13:12

    Checo (and even Nico) are really keeping Racing Point in contention for P3 in the championship. I think if the team had those 2 as drivers, they would have had over 200 points but then again they may also have ceased to exist had Stroll not purchased the team. If they do lose P3, it’ll have to all come down to Lance as Checo has give it his all.

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